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Table 1 Comparison of care quality at different levels of institutions

From: Variations of care quality for infectious pulmonary tuberculosis in Taiwan: a population based cohort study

  Medical center (n = 112) Regional hospital (n = 155) District hospital/primary practitioners (n = 100) Chest specialty hospital (n = 54) P-value
Diagnostic physiciana; n (%)      < 0.001
   Pulmonologist 76 (67.9) 118 (76.1) 67 (67.0) 53 (98.1)  
   Non-pulmonologist 36(32.1) 37 (23.9) 33 (33.0) 1 (1.9)  
Quality of diagnosis; n (%)      
   Sputum specimens for diagnosisa      < 0.001
<3 specimens 58(51.8) 98 (63.2) 50 (50.0) 14 (25.9)  
≥ 3 specimens 54 (48.2) 57 (36.8) 50 (50.0) 40(74.1)  
   Positive sputum smear but negative sputum culture resultsa      < 0.001
Yes 1 (0.9) 12 (7.7) 19 (19.0) 2 (3.7)  
No 111 (99.1) 143 (92.3) 81 (81.0) 52 (96.3)  
Timeliness (mean ± SD)      
   Days between chest X-ray examination and the hospital visitb (n = 415) 1.8 ± 6.0 1.8 ± 5.6 1.7 ± 3.4 1.0 ± 0.0 0.044
   Days between the sputum examination and the hospital visitb (n = 415) 4.9 ± 13.3 4.1 ± 8.2 4.8 ± 14.7 1.5 ± 2.9 < 0.001
   Healthcare institution delay1,b (n = 378) 31.0 ± 53.6 31.2 ± 70.4 25.4 ± 3 7.6 10.1 ± 18.3 < 0.001
Positive AFB smearb (n = 235) 11.2 ± 16.2 13.4 ± 31.4 15.7 ± 30.6 4.7 ± 7.1 0.003
Negative AFB smearb (n = 143) 69.9 ± 76.2 53.3 ± 95.5 44.3 ± 42.8 20.1 ± 27.0 0.001
Laboratory diagnostic delay2,b (n = 415) 2.6 ± 2.1 4.5 ± 3.1 3.5 ± 2.6 2.4 ± 2.4 < 0.001
Outcome; n (%)      
Successful treatmenta (n= 421)      0.001
Yes 73 (65.2) 99 (63.9) 68 (68.0) 50 (92.6)  
No 39 (34.8) 56(36.1) 32 (32.0) 4 (7.4)  
Fatalitya (n = 421)      0.002
Yes 31 (27.7) 50 (32.3) 28 (28.0) 3 (5.6)  
No 81 (72.3) 105 (67.7) 72 (72.0) 51 (94.4)  
  1. AFB, acid-fast bacilli
  2. aUsing the chi-square test
  3. bUsing the Kruskal Wallis test
  4. 1Healthcare institution delay indicates days between the first related hospital visit and the initiation of anti-TB medication
  5. 2Laboratory diagnostic delay indicates workdays for reporting sputum smear examination results at the hospital